Thursday 23 March 2017

Expert View

Malcolm O'Kelly

(92 caps for Ireland, two Lions tours)

"I'm looking forward to seeing Sean O'Brien, who's the talk of the town at the moment. Most people have seen him in action with Leinster and it will be interesting to see how he copes at international level, where there might be fewer opportunities in a game to impress and where he'll be coming up against a better quality of player or certainly more motivated opposition.

"To make the step up to international level, you have to be able to find your game on the run, work with a new unit, fit in and express yourself. You have to be ready, but Seanie will soak it all up. He deserves this chance and he will lead from the front.

"Another guy I'm looking forward to seeing is Fergus McFadden, who has really come on this year, adapted really well to a change of position with Leinster and taken his opportunity to impress. He has shown incredible desire to get his game up to the required standard without getting a huge amount of game time and has forced his way into what was deemed as an impenetrable back-line at Leinster.

"Like Sean, we'll have to see how Fergus will adapt to a more physical game and to the occasion -- can he stand up to the mental challenges that come with it? Certainly, he's shown to me anyway that he has the qualities to do so."

Irish Independent

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